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Weekend Forecast for May 24-26, 2013

By Reagen Sulewski

May 23, 2013

We love realism in movies.

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Conversely, the Fast and Furious franchise continues to get bigger and bigger, defying all logic, as it reaches its sixth installment. After nearly fading into oblivion with the roundly mocked Tokyo Drift entry, the return of Vin Diesel to the cars-and-guns-and-splosions franchise, then the subsequent addition of The Rock, made this into one of the largest franchises in recent memory. All this based on not much more than “car go fast."

After the supposed retirement of Diesel and Paul “Luckiest Bastard Ever” Walker's crew in Fast Five, we need an ultimate evil plot to bring them back into action which can somehow be solved with really fast driving (it's funny how many things come down to that). So we get a para-military organization that's able to take down a military convoy in some exotic location and take possession of ... something bad, does it matter what? It's The Thing They Have to Get. Anyhow, the gang's all back, including a rather daring gambit of bringing in Michelle Rodriguez, who had a rather prominent death in the first film. But *Jedi Mind Wave* that never happened now. Whatever. Car still go fast? Car go fast through *plane*! And that's what this ultimately boils down to – how crazy can they make this film and still hold it together as a script? Pretty crazy, apparently. File this under “giving people what they want”, and we should see a three-day total of around $75 million.

Epic arrives this weekend into what's been an uncharacteristically sparse family film market this year, as just the third animated feature of 2013. From Ice Age and Robots director Chris Wedge, it's a fantasy adventure with parts of Alice in Wonderland, Lord of the Rings and Ferngully all thrown into a blender. Amanda Seyfried is the voice of the lead character, a teenager pulled into a fantasy world full of fairies and sprites and talking animals and such, who are in a battle against a group of evil things of some description, who have the destruction of the natural world in mind.

Epic seems to ride a precarious balance between “serious” family adventure filmmaking and the sort of slapsticky pop culture filled films that marked the worst excesses of the genre. It's heavy on the celeb voice casting, including Josh Hutcherson, Colin Farrell, Beyonce, Aziz Ansari, Jason Sudekis, Steven Tyler, Christoph Waltz, and Pitbull for some odd reason. Despite all this, it looks to have little crossover appeal for adults. Not that a film just for kids is such a bad thing, but it does tend to limit those film's potential. While gorgeous looking and well-reviewed, it's got a bit of the same problems as Rise of the Guardians from last Christmas – just far too kiddie to be taken seriously. Expect this to come in with around $33 million over three days.




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However successful Star Trek Into Darkness may end up being, it's hard to do anything but characterize its $70 million opening weekend as, at best, a missed opportunity, and at worst, a large disappointment. Coming off a nearly $80 million opening for the rebooted franchise and strong word of mouth, J.J. Abrams sequel to the space adventure franchise was supposed to blast off into the next stratosphere of opening weekends, somewhere around $100 million or more. While the opening as it stands doesn't represent any kind of franchise killing disaster, it does show that Paramount has some work to do in order to expand the franchise, particularly to younger audiences. The Memorial Day weekend should give it a nice holdover, to $42 million, but which should still leave it a little behind the pace of the last Trek.

Iron Man 3 had the typical 50% drop off in its third weekend, but that still meant $35 million over the frame. Such is life when you start out with over $170 million. Already at $340 million, it should be in spitting distance of the all-time top 20 once the holiday is over, and should have little trouble reaching $400 million overall. Marvel Phase 2 is off to a rousing start.

Lastly of significant films, we have The Great Gatsby, which should cross $100 million this weekend, a first for Baz Luhrmann. While not receiving quite the overall raves that fans of Luhrmann, F. Scott Fitzgerald or Leonardo DiCaprio might have hoped, it's quite a decent showing for an adaptation that's high on style and low on immediate box office hooks. I'd give it around $13 million this weekend.


Forecast: Weekend of May 24-26, 2013
Rank
Film
Number of
Sites
Changes in Sites
from Last
Estimated
Gross ($)
1 Fast and Furious 6 3,600 New 75.3
2 The Hangover Part III 3,450 New 60.5
3 Star Trek Into Darkness N/A N/A 42.4
4 Epic 3,800 New 32.8
5 Iron Man 3 N/A N/A 20.9
6 The Great Gatsby N/A N/A 12.5
7 Pain & Gain N/A N/A 2.2
8 The Croods N/A N/A 2.0
9 42 N/A N/A 1.7
10 Oblivion N/A N/A 1.7

Continued:       1       2

     


 
 

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